A Unique Approach to Pigeon Racing on the AviRings Derby 2021: Darkening of the Loft

The AviRings Derby 2021 will be a unique one loft race in many ways. First of all, it will be the very first race in Europe in which all racing pigeons will be wearing a GPS tracking ring, it will be the first race that will feature separation of the pigeons in the competition phase and it will also bring one more important difference in comparison to other similar derbies: loft darkening in the training phase. This will ensure fair conditions for all pigeons participating in the competitions, keep your pigeon champions in the best possible shape for the finals and raise the entire competition to a whole new level. Are you ready to find out more?

What Is Loft Darkening and Why Is It So Important?

To begin to understand why loft darkening is so important, we must first understand the natural cycle of the pigeons. One of the most important things to consider is moulting, which is basically losing and replacing of the pigeons’ feathers. Moulting takes place throughout the year, as the pigeons are constantly losing feathers and replacing them with new ones. However, the most intense moulting season for pigeons is in the beginning of the fall. Unfortunately, since this is also the time of the racing season, this can negatively affect the pigeons’ performance. Here is where loft darkening comes in, as it can help your pigeons improve their results on races, even during the natural moulting season.

Why Do Pigeons Moult?

Pigeons moulting is a natural consequence of the changing of the season. The days become shorter, the nights become longer, there’s less daylight – all this contributes to pigeons starting to get ready for a new season. This is of course completely natural, but the fact is that moulting demands an incredible amount of energy from the pigeons’ organisms, depriving them of precious nutrients, consequently making them weaker and less ready for great achievements. Apart from all that, there’s also the simple fact that pigeons are of course losing their feathers during the moulting, which extremely negatively influences their flying, making them virtually unable to even fly, much less race in competitions. All this speaks to the fact that pigeons are definitely not in their best shape to be racing during the moulting phase.

How Does Darkening of the Loft Work and How Does It Help with All This?

Darkening of the lofts makes the days seem shorter, which helps trick the pigeons’ biological clock into thinking that winter is approaching. As their bodies expect a harsh winter time, they only moult the smaller feathers, leaving their primary flights intact. Later on, more daylight is introduced again, giving the pigeons the opportunity to come in top shape just in time for the competition phase.

Loft darkening therefore ensures that the pigeons are not in the most intense moulting phase right when the finals are about to start, thus improving their chances for excellent results and new flight records.

Apart from that, darkening of the loft also creates equal conditions for all the pigeons in the loft. The fact is that moulting is not the same process for all pigeons; some take it better while others take it worse. Some moult quickly, while with others it can take months. Some pigeons lose more of their flying abilities, others less. This is natural, of course, but it also creates very unfair conditions for pigeon racing. If we let nature have its way, the champion would probably be the pigeon who had most luck with the timing of their moult, not the one who is actually the best flier.

Darkening of the Loft at the AviRings Derby 2021

We believe the competition should be fair and equal for all pigeons, so we decided to use the loft darkening technique in the training phase to ensure that. We want to make sure that the plumage of the pigeons does not play the key role in determining who wins the race. Considering this and all other unique features offered at the AviRings Derby 2021, we are pretty sure we’re in for a fun and exciting competition that true pigeon fanciers most definitely shouldn’t miss. Come join us and be a part of this amazing event!